Okay, I should have posted this weeks ago, but it’s better late than never, right?
Attention Memphians: Early voting for the Memphis Pre-K Initiative ENDS tomorrow, November 16th! (Election Day is November 21)
As an educator, I believe that the earlier we start educating children, the better. One great way to do this with a pre-kindergaten or preschool program. Unfortunately, these types of programs are not widely available in public school, so if you want your kid in pre-k, you have to pay money. Thus begins the education gap that people just LOVE to talk about.
Memphis is wanting to do something about this huge problem. There is proposed .5% tax increase (this is only about .25 for every $50 spent.) That money will go towards putting preschool programs in EVERY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. At my elementary school, we currently can only afford to have 2 preschool classrooms (there are between 4 and 6 classrooms for every other grade level.) Go talk to any kindergarten teacher – the difference between those students who had preschool and those who did not is significant!
Bottom Line: The gap between kids whose parents have money and kids whose parents do not starts early, even earlier than we would like to admit. In my experience with parents, they love their kids and want their children to have the best education possible. However, many of them lack the resources and/or the education to help keep their kids on (or anywhere near) the level they need to be in order to be successful in their educational endeavors. This is our reality now. It does not have to be our reality forever.
This is THE REASON that we pay taxes, to fund programs to help people. I will GLADLY pay an extra .5% on my purchases if it means that every single kid in Memphis has the choice to be a part of a preschool program.
I honestly believe that if you live in Memphis, and you want to better the education system in our community, you will head down to one of these locations tomorrow between 10 am and 4 pm and VOTE.
I will WATCH YOUR KIDS, CLEAN YOUR HOUSE, DRIVE YOU THERE, DO ALMOST ANYTHING if it means you get out there tomorrow and vote for this initiative.